He could have been ours, Buckeye Nation.
With Urban Meyer currently entrenched as the Buckeyes' coach, we dare ask the question that no one has had the courage to ask: where would Ohio State be if Tim Tebow had played in Columbus?
Rather than wait for more mainstream columnists (or us, somewhat inadvertently) to deliberately bait you into further blind Internet anger, following the lead of the mothership, we believe it's our civic duty to set the curve ourselves – and do so shamelessly. On Troll Tuesdays, we'll attempt to construct tomorrow's blatant attempt at pageviews today, building the worst inflammatory argument possible one single-spaced sentence at a time.
These are the names that shine in Buckeye lore. These are the names that permeate the tomes of Buckeye history. We know them all and are on a first name basis, but, as fans, we really know them better than that. We know their games. We know their stats. We know their stories.
These are the men who have shaped and driven the narrative of Buckeye football for the last century, with now second year coach Urban Meyer going undefeated in his first season as coach, further adding to the illustrious history of Ohio State football.
But even for as lush a garden of awe inspiring greatness that is presented above, it is painful to think that it could have been that much greater.
The following is not a question that Buckeye fans ask aloud; rather, it is a question that sits rhetorically at the back of all of our collective minds. And now I have the courage to ask it for the masses:
What if Tim Tebow had been a Buckeye?
Really think about it. I know a lot of you probably think it's too good to be true; but really, what if?
The narrative surrounding Tim Tebow is well-worn territory in the sports world, but certainly bear repeating.
Like how his mother stood by her convictions, even when faced with the threat of ending her own life to do so. How instead of lavishly embellishing in a life of the flesh, he's not only talked the talk, he's walked the walk, making everyone around him better in the process. His physical attributes are bested only by what we can't measure.
And that's just his exploits off the field.
As a member of the Florida Gators, he was responsible for bringing back greatness that had eluded the program since Steve Spurrier left Gainesville in 2001. This infographic tells the full story, dating back to 2006:
|Team||Championships With Tebow||Championships Without Tebow|
That single crystal football from the early aughts is starting to look awful lonely, Buckeye fans. Maybe with Tim, it could have gotten a few friends.
But that's not all Tim offered in his time under our coach Urban Meyer when he was down in Gatorland. He was (is?) one of the most inspiring figures to play the game in decades. When his team lost, he took the blame. When they won, he dished out the credit. He was a Heisman Trophy winner once, but could have bested Archie's two Stiff-Arm Trophies easily.
And he could have done it all in a Buckeye jersey.
Instead, the regime of the time went after a different ilk of player: long sought-after mobile quarterbacks from Pennsylvania, with a love of winning and tattoos – and not necessarily in that order! Ohio State got sanctions without Tim; Florida got championships with him. Which result would you prefer?
His heroic leadership, his overt showings of emotion on the sidelines, his promises to Gator Nation could have been ours, Columbus. The number one player from the State of Florida was wooed by his home state schools and by rival Michigan. But he stayed at home in Florida. With the right push, maybe his home could have been Ohio.
But all that pales in comparison to another statement. One that could have seen the 6-7 season go by the wayside, and this year's 12-0 season off a chance to go 14-0.
If Tim Tebow were a Buckeye, Tattoogate never would have happened.
You know it.
I know it.
The Buckeyes never would have gone after Terrelle Pryor with the same amount of vigor had Tim suited up in the scarlet and gray. They simply would not have needed to. They could have gotten a better quality of player – a better quality of person. And after Tim left Ohio State to flourish in the NFL, the grass would be even greener here in Buckeye Nation. Gold pants would be more sacred. The only tattoos we'd see would be on removable eye black.
There is plenty to be happy about as a Buckeye fan, especially over the last few years. Michigan has beaten us once. The Big Ten has all but moved its headquarters to Columbus. Urban Meyer is here, and not going anywhere.
But it could have been even better.
It really could have.